A highlight of any trip to Africa is certain to be the people you meet. This land is made up of a rich diversity of warm-hearted people with fascinating stories to share; stories about their countries’ pasts and hopeful futures, their everyday lives, traditions and beliefs.
Being from Cape Town we like to think that we live in the land of eternal sunshine – most Capetonians do. This isn’t too far from the truth as Cape Town's winters are peppered with occasional moments of glorious sunshine. And we're not talking about a feeble, washed-out winter sun but rich, golden days with warm colours, pleasant temperatures and no wind that makes for perfect hiking weather!
Summer in Cape Town sees up to 14-hours of daylight, with the sun setting at about 8pm at the height of the season when temperatures regularly hit the 30s Celsius (90s Fahrenheit). And what a sunset it usually is: the sky streaked with candy floss-pink clouds and the sun slipping beneath the horizon as it bathes all in a soft, golden light.
Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula have two glittering coastlines with a beach to suit every mood and moment. Whether you're after buzzing beachside bars, secluded coves, safe swimming beaches or a romantic spot for a sunset picnic, our guide to Cape Town’s best beaches will point you in the right direction.
Like all major cities, Cape Town is home to a selection of the world's leading hotel brands but if it's intimate proportions and character you want, then a boutique hotel or guesthouse may be a better choice for your Cape Town holiday.Cape Town is known for being ‘a country in one city’: the city limits include everything from a vibrant downtown district to Blue Flag beaches and even Table Mountain National Park. We’ve divided our top picks into city or beach, allowing you to select the boutique hotel that most suits your holiday plans.
Johannesburg is Africa's economic powerhouse known to locals as Joburg, Jozi and Egoli (the ‘city of gold’). The city is modern and enormous, sprawling in all directions as the heart beat of commerce demands more offices, houses and malls. About 60 kilometres away lies Pretoria, which is the seat of administrative government in South Africa and a very pretty city with jacaranda-lined streets. Both of these urban centres are vibrant and cosmopolitan, linked by a fast-moving, multi-lane highway and the high-speed Gautrain, making it easy to explore the places that played a critical role in Nelson Mandela’s life story or which honour his legacy.
Come dine with our African Safari Experts as they savour the spicy scents and flavours of a Cape Malay curry and try their hands at rolling a perfectly buttery roti (a traditional round flatbread) under the watchful guidance of an authentic Cape Malay cook. But before you roll up your sleeves and inspire your inner domestic goddess, we recommend a short stroll down Cape Town’s memory lane to dip into a slice of South Africa's history that produced its multi-cultural melting pot heritage.
There is so much to see and do at Babylonstoren – a deluxe working farm hotel in the Franschhoek Winelands – that’s best to arrive with some sort of plan. This is how we’d spend 48 hours at this very unique accommodation.
South Africa’s 1996 Constitution specifically protects full and equal rights for LGBT people. In 2006, the rainbow nation legalized same-sex marriages - the first country in Africa and the fifth in the world to do so.
The world was transfixed when Nelson Mandela was finally released to freedom in 1990 after 27 years in jail for his role in the struggle to overcome apartheid. Twenty-three years later, in 2013, the eyes and cameras of the world were once again on South Africa as this former president, Nobel Peace Prize winner, statesman and father figure to millions was laid to rest. None of us will ever again have the opportunity of interacting with this great-yet-humble man but we can visit some of the places that shaped his life and that are indelibly connected with his story.